Press Advisories

8. 4. 2016 21:06

B. Sobotka: We have agreed on the development of transport, trade, cooperation in security and improving air quality

Společné foto členů vlád na mezivládních konzultacích mezi Českou a Polskou republikou, 8. dubna 2016.
Group photo of members of government at the intergovernmental consultations between the Czech Republic and Poland, 8th of April 2016
On Friday the 8th of April 2016, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and other members of the Cabinet met with members of the Government of the Republic of Poland at the fourth intergovernmental consultations. In Warsaw, they discussed the development of cross-border transport infrastructure, investments and coordination of the presidency of the Visegrad Group.

Prime Minister Sobotka appreciated the fact that the intergovernmental consultations took place soon after the arrival of the new Polish government and the ministers of both governments can continue with intensive Czech-Polish cooperation.

The prime ministers discussed with ministers cooperation within the Visegrad Group and coordination of the Czech and Polish presidencies. The Republic of Poland takes over the presidency of the Visegrad Group from the Czech Republic at the beginning of July 2016. Prime Minister Sobotka welcomed the fact that Poland will continue with the Czech Republic’s priorities, such as cooperation in energy and in the fields of defense and security. He also highlighted the importance of a uniform and consistent V4 procedure in EU issues, especially in the search for a common solution to the migration crisis. The prime ministers confirmed that they will continue to reject the proposal to introduce new refugee redistributive mechanisms and the transfer of powers in the area of asylum procedures on an EU level. At the same time they voiced support for the priorities of the Polish Presidency.

Another point of discussion was the development of energy and transport infrastructure. One of the priorities of both governments is to improve cross-border transport links. This particularly includes the construction of the Czech D11 motorway and adjoining Polish S3 expressway. Prime Minister Sobotka believes that they will manage to begin the construction work within the term of his government. Representatives of the two countries also discussed the modernization of rail links. The discussion focused mainly on the modernization of the Ostrava-Katowice-Warsaw railway line.

Representatives of the Czech and Polish governments also discussed the issue of security. This mainly concerns migration and the preparation of the NATO summit, which will take place in July in Warsaw. Representatives of the cabinets agreed that the priority must be to build relations between NATO and the European Union. States in the Visegrad Group should also act together on migration and reject the European Commission’s proposals for changes to asylum.

Government members also focused on issues of air quality in the Czech-Polish border region, where the Czech party offered to share experiences with so-called kettle subsidies. Further cooperation in this field is also possible within the framework of the Visegrad Group.

Prime Minister Sobotka was also interested in the expansion of the Turow coal mine and drew attention to the problem of decreasing groundwater levels in Frýdlant, which occurs as a result of the mining activity. The Prime Minister asked the Polish side about the adoption of such measures to prevent negative impacts on Czech citizens, especially in terms of the availability of water resources. Furthermore, the Prime Minister asked for the maximum cooperation and information exchange between the two countries. Environment ministers have previously agreed to form a working group to focus on this issue.

Representatives of the Czech and Polish governments met for the fourth time

The meeting in Warsaw is the historic fourth meeting of members of the governments of Poland and the Czech Republic. The last intergovernmental consultations were held in Prague on the 20th of April 2015. In a similar format, representatives of the Government of the Czech Republic also regularly meet with their counterparts from the Slovak Republic and the State of Israel.

From the Czech side the consultations in Poland were attended by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka as well as Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek, Defense Minister Martin Stropnický, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec, Minister of Industry and Trade Jan Mládek, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Michaela Marksová, Transport Minister Dan Ťok, Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec and the Minister of Culture Daniel Herman

Press release from the ministries

Ministry of Interior

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec met in Warsaw with his Polish counterpart Marius Blaszcakem in the framework of intergovernmental consultations. The main topics of the debate were especially immigration and the quotas for acceptance of refugees, the issue of abuse of precursors for methamphetamine production and cooperation in the fight against organized crime.

Ministry of Culture

The counterpart of the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic in bilateral negotiations on cooperation between the two countries is Prof. Dr. hab. Piotr Gliński, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Poland. Representatives of both ministries discussed the experience and knowledge gained working on the project “European City of Culture”, which was Plzeň in 2015 and is Wroclaw in 2016.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek attended the fourth intergovernmental consultations between the Czech Republic and Poland. Ministers of foreign affairs and defense of both countries met during these consultations. On the agenda was the NATO summit in Warsaw, the current security situation in Europe and the possibility of cooperation in the defense industry within the framework of the Visegrad Group. European and bilateral topics were only on the agenda of the prime ministers.

Ministry of Transport

Navigability of the Odra, Danube and Labe rivers, road links between the two countries, and cooperation with the Szczecin Maritime College. These were the main topics of talks between the Czech transport minister Danem Ťok and his Polish counterpart, Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Waterways Marek Gróbarczyk and the Minister for Infrastructure and Construction Andrzej Adamczyk. Both ministers agreed at the meeting in Warsaw that the D-O-L project is an important project for the Czech Republic and Poland on which they can cooperate.

 

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